TTW: De nieuwe generatie
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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With respect to full employment migrants still are in a bad position. Despite positive attention for their position, the number of unemployed is very high.One of the problems migrant course-members have to face during their vocational training, is the technical language. This is defined as the language which is used within a certain profession to communicate about the profession.In this article I present the description of an investigation into the use of the technical language, used in textbooks for vocational training within institutes for apprenticeship training and further education. A detailed description is presented in "Een bus is een bus is een bus" (1989).The investigation is based on three theories. The first one describes the relation between learning a second language and language as a communication process. An important aspect here is the "repertoire" the sender and the receiver must have in common in order to be able to communicate with each other. The second theory deals with concepts, their influence on the culture and by that, the assimilation of the data. In this context "concept" means all the meanings, pictures etc,, one can have when reading or hearing a word. The third one gives insight in the relation between the roles a language user has to play, the settings in which he or she has to play that role and the functions of the language activities. All three theories plays their part in vocational training where technical languages are used.Technical language manifests itself in the lexicon (in general technical language, the domain language and in course instruction language) and on text level. Furthermore, technical language has a number of characteristics which can be summarized as "the economical principle". This leads among others to elliptical sentences, composed sentences, passive sentences and changing the word order by placing the clause with the most important information at the beginning of the sentence.It was investigated whether and in which way technical language appears in textbook for learners and what the main problems are for migrant learners. The investigation showed that many texts are a source of problems, because they do not correspond with the knowledge level of the learner.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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